Friday, June 13, 2014
5And Joshua said to the people, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you."
Mosses passed the torch to Joshua to lead the Israelites because he had been hand picked by God. How awesome it is to be hand picked by God for anything! But even more so, what level of responsibility it is. Repeatedly, God reassured Joshua not to fear. And then Joshua gave the people he was called to lead the heads up about that God would do magnificent wonders. How many times are you told ahead of time that God is going to do something wonderful? Joshua was in the midst of leading the people to the promised land. Yes, the very promised land they waited for 40 years. God revealed to Joshua that He would do great things. In Numbers 23:19 it says that God is not a man that He should lie. So when God tells His servant that He is going to do something, like Bishop Jakes says, "Get ready, get ready, get ready!" Their way to get ready was to sanctify or consecrate themselves; in other words, make holy in preparation to receive. God instructs Joshua to command the priests holding the ark of the covenant that when they get to the Jordan river they would stand in it. In case you missed, when is the last time you were able to stand in a river and not be carried away by the current? The word says that the Jordan River overflows all its banks. Therefore, anything touching the Jordan would get carried away. But God! Just as He did when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, so they crossed the dry land of the Jordan River. Again, God is not a man that He should lie. Not only could He do it but remember, God had already done it once. The first time the Israelites had no warning. This time, God told a whole new generation what He was going to do before He did it. Once God told His faithful servant, it was done. If the Israelites doubted and dared to grumble, they didn't have time to say it before God worked. God is the same yesterday as He is today so if He sends you a faithful servant to say get ready, then that is what you must do. When God tells you directly, get ready, then let it be so. Whatever He says remove from your presence that you may receive what He has promised, just do it. Consecrate yourself and be in the right place to receive. God is faithful.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
15For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Father's Day is this coming Sunday and many people, whose fathers are still on earth, are buying gifts or sending cards. For those whose fathers are no longer with them or those who did not know their earthly fathers, you still have a father. His name is Abba. He is the one who wakes you up every morning.
All week, my mind has been returning to my college days when I took my first international trip. The trip was to the United Kingdom. My friend and former co-worker, Kate, had invited myself and her former roommate. Kate was an exchange student. I remember we were at work on campus during a summer prior. I was thinking of where I wanted to go the following year and she invited me to England. I spent months planning. And both my biological father and my now late stepfather chipped in with my earnings and my mom's gift. Both fathers were happy for me. My stepfather was so giddy with excitement that he wished he was able to do more. My biological father, being the researcher, discovered the recent bombing and was a little concerned about what airport I would arrive at. Kate had told us the best airport. It was Abba that ensured our safety in flight and on the five hour train ride to the countryside. It was Abba that recalled my secret desire to visit Edinburgh, Scotland from a European Travel program on MPT/PBS. He remembered and a year to the very month that I viewed the program, I was there. I had no idea that accepting my friend's invitation would lead me not only to experience a lovely time with her and her family, discovering how much my facial features really are Irish but seeing many beautiful English cities and townships and a Scottish one I was fascinated by on television.
What does all of that have to do with Father's Day? Everything!! Fathers played a role but the greatest Father that we forget is with us everyday and knows our every need and want. He is Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides. He is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. He is Jehovah Shalom, the God our peace. He is Jehovah Roi, the God who sees. Remember to say Happy Father's Day to the one who never leaves you nor forsakes you, even after your natural parents, stepparents, adopted parents or godparents are gone. Abba is always there.
P.S. HAPPY EARLY FATHER'S DAY to all fathers and father figures!
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
28And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." 29So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
Most often when this scripture is looked at it is seen from the prospective of letting go of fear. But God showed me something else this morning. Peter, by the power of the Holy Spirit within Jesus had been given the same ability to do what no man had seen. Remember, Jesus is the greatest teacher, preacher, prophet, apostle, evangelist. Jesus did and still does many miracles. He is the Word made flesh. The stronger your belief in the Word of God and the Holy Spirit's power, with prayer, God can do through you many of the miracles Jesus did during His earthly ministry. The gifts that Jesus possessed during His earthly ministry are distributed through the Holy Spirit to those who make Him Lord over their lives. God gives them to believers as He deems and the gifts of the Spirit are often dormant until you grow in Jesus. The apostle Paul talks about the spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. Jesus demonstrated to Peter that his belief in Him and the one who sent Him would allow him to do great things. You want to do something great? Stick with Jesus and move as He tells you to move. He will make you a walking miracle by the power of the living God.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
22Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed by our iniquities, our sin. The Lord gives a restart button every morning that you take that breath and open your eyes. You have a chance to start all over again. Every morning you can count on God making sure the sun rises and the moon sets. Every morning you can count on hearing birds singing during warm months. That's the Lord at work on your behalf. The Lord our God is faithful in doing all these things. He is faithful to you because the sins you committed yesterday can be forgiven. He will blot out what you did yesterday if you repent with a sincere heat. If that isn't faithful, I don't know what is. Family and friends will fail you at some point. It may not even be intentionally, but they will fail you because they are human. You will fail someone at some point. It may not be intentional but it's because you too are human. The only one who can never fail is the Lord our God because He is perfect in every way and makes no mistakes. That is truly a wonderful reassurance!
P.S. If you missed the live stream interview yesterday, you can still catch it online at http://new.livestream.com/villageconnectortv/events/2856223
Monday, June 9, 2014
1And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2Then He opened His mouth and taught them,
The sermon on the Mount is where Jesus taught on the Beatitudes. Jesus didn't reserve teaching just for the synagogue. Every moment was a teachable moment, an opportunity to minister and fellowship. Many churches today are so fixed on the four walls that they forget about the people. The people are the church. And you can have church anywhere. I know at our church, we use technology and host telephonic Bible Study or even worship service at times. We do have church outside. It's awesome to me that our pastor and assistant pastor see beyond four walls. We have spent time on the street giving away clothes to the homeless, feeding and worshiping together.
Over the weekend a local church in the community partnered up with a housing development and together they put on a Christian Block Party. AWESOME!! How many companies have the courage to partner with a Christian church? Most companies don't want to "rock the boat." The church and the development extended the opportunity to surrounding communities. There were activities for the children but they also were willing to provide for needs of any families and there was praise and worship and a prayer tent. One gentleman on stage was a true worshipper. He got off the stage and stood with us as we lifted up holy hands to our Lord. My face was drenched with tears as I felt the Holy Spirit moving. It was beautiful!! The pastor came on after and ministered to the people. They were offering buses to pick people up for Sunday service. But the beautiful thing, they didn't wait for Sunday and four walls to minister to people. All these things are beautiful and wonderful because sometimes you have to meet people where they are.
I know when God first gave me the task five years ago of reaching out to all of you via the devotional, I was scared and knowing I couldn't see your faces troubled me. But He has taught me that it's another way to meet people where they are. Reaching people in their homes, places of work, out and about, all through technology is another way that His message goes forward beyond four walls and fulfills the Great Commission assigned to us all.
P.S. The cast and crew of Village Connector TV and Between the Covers for Book Lovers send their deepest apologies as there was some technical difficulty regarding yesterday's broadcast. It only means that God has a plan and someone will be blessed by the testimony. His timing is perfect. So the NEW TIME for my interview to air will be today, Monday, June 9th at 7pm ET via the following link: http://new.livestream.com/